THE VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES

In Agrigento the magnificent splendour of the past is still tangible

THE VALLEY OF THE TEMPLES

The archaeological tour is a journey through time along paths and endless landscapes. Invites the tourist to advancing and admire the evocative remains of the glorious civilizations of the past. The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, is the most sublime testimony of Greek civilization in Sicily. The eye rests on the magnificent ruins of the temple of Castor and Pollux and the Temple of Juno, or sull'imponenza architecture of the Temple of Concordia. The myth has it that the ancient Akragas Agragante was founded by the son of Zeus and the nymph Asterope. According to the narrative of the historian Thucydides, the city was founded in 580 pe by a group of inhabitants of Gela from Rhodes and Crete. Ten years after the foundation began the tyranny of Phalaris (570-554 pe), successivamenlc under the rule of Theron (488-472 BC) the city experienced its greatest period of splendor, characterized by great artistic flowering. Defeated and destroyed in 406 BC by the Carthaginians, the city was rebuilt in the mid-fourth century. BC by Timoleon, and this period was the construction of the Hellenistic-Roman. In 210 BC Akragas the Romans conquered and changed its name to Agrigentum. At the fifth century. dates the construction of many temples along the valley. Most of the buildings, after the destruction in 406 BC, was rebuilt by the Romans in the first century. B.C. Of great importance are the remains of the Temple of Olympian Zeus erected in honor of Zeus after his victory over the Carthaginians (480 BC) to mine. It was one of the largest temples of antiquity. It was a Doric colonnade which were interspersed in the Ligurian giants such colossal Telamoni one of which is preserved at the Regional Archaeological Museum. At the fifth century. B.C. belongs to the Temple of Castor and Pollux dedicated to the twin sons of Zeus and Leda. Of this magnificent building also remain only four Doric columns and a part of the entablature. On the right are the remains of a sanctuary in which it was performed the rite of the Thesmophoria dedicated to the chthonic deities Demeter and Persephone. The elegant Temple of Heracles (Hercules) according to the testimony of Cicero and Livy was dedicated to the demigod son of Zeus and Alcmene. Built in the late sixth century. A.C, is the oldest in the valley. The evocative remains of the temple eight Doric columns taper towards the top. 11 in 430 BC Temple of Concord is the only joint in its entirety, this allows you to fully appreciate its elegance and grandeur. Represents the transition between the archaic and classical form. Significant presence in the frieze of triglyphs and metopes decorated with bas-reliefs do not like the gable testimonies dell'eccellenti local workers. And 'the unknown god to whom it was dedicated, probably to the Dioscuri or Demeter. The name derives from Concordia Latin inscription found nearby. In the seventh century. The temple is turn it into a Christian church dedicated to SS. Peter and Paul, in 1788 returned to the primitive forms. Located near the Temple of Concord, the early Christian necropolis of IV-V century. presents burial tomb and arched niche. End of the hill facing east, lies the Temple of Juno Lacinia built around the middle of the fifth century. BC, dedicated to Juno, daughter of Saturn and Rhea, and protector of marriage and childbirth. The Doric temple was burned down in 406 BC It preserves the colonnade partially relieved in 900 remain within the columns of the pronaos and opisthodomus (local back towards keeping the vessels of the temple and the offerings of the faithful) and the wall of the cell where it was once housed the statue of the deity . Next to it is preserved the altar of the temple where the sacred rites were held in honor of the deity.